While in the real sports world motor racing covers an array of disparate sports using various types of vehicles, within virtual motor sports betting all races feature Formula One style cars so if track racing featuring this type of machine is your thing, then this is the online game for you.
About Virtual Motor Racing
As is always the case within virtual sports, the motor racing offering within the virtual section of a sportsbook is simply a computer-animated version of the real thing which in this case means simply sending CGI cars around a make-believe track, not costing at all the hundreds of millions of pounds used to fund the real thing.
Like with online slots and all other virtual sports, results of races are decided in advance using a random number generator which means, while you cannot use any skill or knowledge to attempt to predict results, all outcomes are fair and the same race on a bookmaker’s platform is seen by all players involved.
To picture what virtual motor sport looks like, imagine a modern games console playing out a race in front of you with the exception being that you cannot take part and control the outcome, though you can of course bet on it!
As is always the case within virtual sports, real circuits and driver names cannot be used because of licencing restrictions. So, rather than backing Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone, you’ll be seeing for example Vincent Roberts or Harry Sumner at Mitchell Circuit or Hammerdown.
Bet Types Available in Virtual Motor Sport
With 12 cars competing in each race, virtual motor sport offers a fair amount of betting options and plenty of competition. Of course, betting on the simple win market means you have less chance of success but when you do win, it will invariably be at bigger odds than when winning on something like virtual greyhounds, speedway or football for example.
Going for outsiders in this game is not something we’d strictly advise against, given that it’s not unusual to see drivers winning at 50/1 or even bigger on occasion. Here’s what you can expect across an array of online bookmakers offering up prices on virtual motor sport:
- Win Market – all twelve drivers are priced up individually and are available to back simply to win, or to finish placed in the each-way For each-way purposes, you’ll get ¼ odds for the first three places with the typical market leaders going off at odds around 2/1 – 5/1.
- Forecast – you can bet on the first two drivers home either in a straight forecast or reverse forecast. Their odds cannot change no matter how many people are betting, so you’ll know in advance what sort of return to expect if you’re correct.
- Tricast – similar to the above, but this time concerning the first three past the line.
Pace and Frequency of Virtual Motor Racing
Races take place over two laps of a left-handed track, much in the style of Nascar racing without proper turns despite the cars mimicking Formula One style machines. Each race lasts just under one minute at a time with events taking place every three minutes all day, every day.
The action is a little slower and more monotonous than other virtual sports it has to be said, so perhaps more interesting tracks are needed or making the races shorter and swifter would help, though there are no shortage of betting options with a typical bookmaker able to show around 480 races a day.
Is Betting on Virtual Motor Sport Fair?
There are two angles to take here; what is virtual motor sport like as a spectator activity and can we expect a fair crack of the whip in terms of betting?
In terms of the first question, as we’ve already touched on this is not the most exciting virtual sport out there it has to be said. Virtual greyhound races are very similar to the real thing, speedway is fast and exciting but virtual motor sport is a little tedious and dull given that the twelve cars simply go around a boring oval with no twists or turns.
The races take a round a minute when in some virtual sports this amounts only to around 30 seconds, and while there are various angles shown to increase excitement this is not a virtual offering that can really live up to the real thing.
From the betting side of things, the 12-car field makes for a fairly competitive betting market with punters able to keep stakes small and wait for winners at juicy prices, as opposed to always betting on short-priced favourites.
Being powered by a random number generator means virtual motor sport results are kept fair for everyone, so there are no concerns there, though as always out returns take a battering because of this.
While in a proper motor sport race the margin a bookmaker advertises could be around 105%, this changes to around 110% given that the bookie has to pay for the software in the first place. Equally, the return to player figure is likely to be around 90% at best, some way below most online slot games.
Pros and Cons of Virtual Motor Racing
There’s no doubt that among the various virtual sports on offer on the top online bookmaker platforms, motor racing is one that needs to be improved on overall.
Making races more exciting, or perhaps adding different types of motor sport into the equation, would be a good start but for now here are the highlights and lowlights of what you can expect if you take part:
- Lots of Betting Opportunities – with races going off every 3 minutes of the day on each sportsbook, you will never run out of chances to have a bet on virtual motor racing if you want to.
- Easy to Get Involved – there is no skill or knowledge of real motor racing required here, so with the random number generator deciding the result you can simply take your pick and wait for the result.
- Big Priced Winners – these virtual races are competitive, so it’s not all about 10/11 winners. Successful bets can be landed at 10/1, 20/1 and even much bigger although you’ll have to be patient and keep stakes small.
- Lack of Excitement – to be brutally honest, betting is exciting enough for many but watching virtual motor races play out is more than a little dull and not at all like real life. There are no tight turns and certainly no danger element, unlike within Formula 1 or rallying for example.
- Lack of Variation – different circuits, different race lengths, different field sizes or even different vehicles altogether would be something developers could add to this offering.
- Poor Margins and Returns – as is always the case, the betting margins on this as a virtual sport a worse than they’d be with the real thing. Also, even when taking into account this is essentially an online game and not a sport, the RTP is still lower than the majority of popular slot games.
- Fewer Successful Bets – unless you’re good in the each-way market, the competitive nature of these races means you will land fewer bets. This is good if you’re patient and you’re willing to hunt out some perceived value, but if you want every other driver you back to win you’ll be in for a disappointment.